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The Great Northwest Open 2012
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The Great Northwest Open 2012

The Great Northwest Open 2012

I rolled into Roseburg and the Howard Johnson Express Inn at right about 9p.m. Friday evening the 27th of April.  I've never rocked a hotel room by myself before... but my big sister was totally correct:  there are few things in this life that are better than eating take out in your hotel room, in bed, by yourself, in your underpants, watching terrible cable tv.

And then to be greeted by this bit of glory mid-Saturday morning on my way to Whistler's Bend for my first tournament round of the Great Northwest Open.  Who needs a warm up round, anyway?  Right?  
OR 138... i believe that what appears to be heaven in the distance is Whistler's Bend

OR 138... pretty sure what appears to be heaven there in the distance is Whistler's Bend

I've been to Whistler's just two other times, for the GNO in 2011 and the Whistlin' Disc Open also in 2011.  Both times my breath was taken away after the first couple twists of the road.  

My Suby having her breath taken away and nearly giddy with excitement to be just mere miles from one of the most beautiful disc golf destinations in the world.

There was a touch of haze in the midmorning sky, but it was nothing compared to the near constant rain of last year that turned the group camping area into a mud wrestling pit and was the inspiration, after camping in my car with all my wet, stinky clothes and shoes and shamwows, to book the room at the HoJo.  

Putting practice with Colin and Nate Sexton, John Ollis and Mike Ward (thanks for the baskets, Mike!)

Needless to say, after fajitas in bed, I was feeling pretty darn good and ended the day tied for first place with Melody King.  I suppose now is as good of a time as any to mention that this was the largest field of Pro Women, outside of the Beaver State Fling and Worlds, that I have ever played in, 7 whole Pro gals!  Almost two full cards.  All around a good showing for the women with plenty in advanced and intermediate, as well.

After a telecoaching session with my dad, totally ready for another awesome night (this time featuring Chicken Mole) of dinner in bed and crappy cable tv at the Howard Johnson Express Inn in Roseburg!

Sunday morning dawned with clearly even more potential than Saturday and I was congratulating myself for remembering the SPF 100 (reaply, people, always reaply).  I was stoked on the competition on our card, with the top four ladies separated by just one stroke!  Melo and I were tied at 59 and right behind us, with a couple of 60s, were Suzie Wagner and Teresa Embree (who also co-TDed the event, major props for that with all the work that goes into running a tournament smoothly and to be able to play well, as well... she is a seasoned pro, indeed).


Hole 7 from the tee box.
Maggie Drews, Zoe Andyke, and Rachel Keller.


Suzie Wagner rockin' her Buzzz down the fairway of Hole 7 right under the basket while her caddy, Mike, and Melo look on in appreciation (author's note:  the first time I walked out onto this fairway with the mighty Umpqua just to right and all it's incredible beauty, I could not keep myself from crying... and not just because I'm totally allergic to Madrone trees... it's just that special of a place).

Men's lead card, second round, playing Hole 11. James Moore on the tee pad.

So, Whistler's Bend is beautiful.  The weekend was great, full of sunshine and warm fuzzies and good people.  And someday I will go down there and I will shoot an entire tournament of solid golf.  This was simply not my year.  Luckily, I enjoyed myself and the friendships I was establishing and strengthening and got to revel in other people's glory.  Like Janine Gunn, playing advanced women, shooting the hot round of all the women (and I do mean all) on Saturday, with a 57.  And witnessing Jason Lewis's ace on hole 4, which I thought was just an excellent putt or chip shot until Melo pointed out they were still on the tee pad, while we were waiting too tee off on hole 5.  And getting to watch Suzie get her groove on and play her home course that final round like it truly was her home and there was nowhere else she would rather be, to give Melo a run for her money and take a solid 2nd place.  Thinking back on it, I just can't fault myself for being too happy to be as sharp and competitive as I needed to be to finish better than 4th place.  I took care of myself, was well rested, wore my favorite pants and had good quality warm ups before each round.  And I think I am really learning how to appreciate my competition and be a good sport.  These, while not winning, are valuable to my game, also.

Robin's egg shell, found by Jeff Hagerty, during a morning warm up, right before I found a 4 leaf clover (this is one of my mutant powers... I've found them all my life and have found one at almost every golf course I've ever played).

Hole 9, jumping high five!  Can't believe I caught this on film.  Maggie Drews, Zoe Andyke (midleap) and Rachel Keller.

Final Results

Open:  Nate Sexton
Open Women:  Melody King
Masters:  Jeff Hagerty
Advanced:  Justin Beck
Advanced Women:  Janine Gunn
Advanced Masters:  Jesse Grasseth
Advanced Grandmasters:  Ward Stroud
Intermediate:  Kris Brannon
Intermediate Women:  Stephanie Graham

Next year, Great Northwest Open, next year... 
 

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